EXPLORE THE ARCHIVES
The Simply Streep Archives has gathered details on all of Meryl Streep's feature films, television, theatre and voice narration, and also features an extensive library of articles, photographs and video clips. You can browse the collection by Ms. Streep's career or through a year-by-year summary.
Nov 29
2020

On the heels of her succesful return to the movies, Meryl Streep joined forces with Mike Nichols once again for his epic 6-part HBO miniseries “Angels in America”, based on the groundbreaking play by Tony Kushner. In the story about a group of homosexual men coming to terms with their HIV infection and the world crumbling around them, literally, Streep took over 4 roles: She played a Rabbi in the opening scene of the first episode, the Angel of Australia, Hannah Pitt, the Mormon mother of Patrick Wilson’s character, and the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg, who appears to haunt Roy Cohn, the lawyer who sent her and her husband on the electric chair, and who is now on his deathbed with AIDS.

“Angels in America” was a groundbreaking piece of television, earning the highest ratings for HBO at that time and receiving a record-breaking 21 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning 11, including Outstanding Miniseries. Meryl Streep won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, as well as a consecutive Golden Globe and her first Screen Actors Guild Award.

December 12, 2003
November 09, 2003
Nov 29
2020

In December of 2002, Meryl Streep returned after a 2-year-absence from film with two highly acclaimed feature films, that had many critics writing about a “comeback”. In Spike Jonze’s “Adaptation”, she played a fictional version of author Susan Orlean – at first a reserved, unhappy woman, later, after meeting Chris Cooper’s orchid thief, the subject of her new book, a free mind ready to break boundaries and the law. Throughout the film, she is approached by a fictional version of author Charlie Kaufman and a made-up version of his twin brother both played by Nicolas Cage. Jonze’s film was met with rave reviews, as were his actors. 19 years after receiving her last Golden Globe, Meryl Streep received the trophy as Best Actress in a Supporting Role and nominations for the BAFTA Film Award, the Critics Choice Award and the Academy Award, surpassing Katharine Hepburn’s record for actor with the most nominations. “Adaptation” received four Academy Award nominations, winning Best Supporting Actor for Cooper.

Her second feature of 2002 was met with equal critical acclaim. Stephen Daldry’s masterful interwoven story of three women on the brink of loss, suicide and new opportunities in “The Hours”, won a Best Actress award for Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore at the Berlin Film Festival, and won Streep second nominations for the Golden Globe and BAFTA Film Award. “The Hours” received 9 Academy Award nominations, inlcuding for Best Picture, winning Best Actress for Nicole Kidman. In a year of success and accolades, France was especially generous to Meryl this year, honoring her with a Lifetime Achievement César Award and a Commander in the Order of Arts in Letters.

December 25, 2002
December 06, 2002
Nov 29
2020

After a 20 years absence, Meryl Streep returned to the theatre, joining Mike Nichols’ powerhouse cast, including Kevin Kline, Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Goodman, Marcia Gay Harden and Natalie Portman, for a Shakespeare in the Park revival of “The Seagull” at Delacorte Theatre. Streep received glowing reviews for playing Arkadina, and received a Drama Desk Award nomination. She narrated a slew of television programmes, including the miniseries “School: The Story of American Public Education” and the Blue Fairy in Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”, and started filming two feature films that would put her right back into the spotlight.

August 12, 2001 - August 26, 2001
Nov 29
2020

Despite visits to the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Academy Awards as a nominee for last year’s “Music of the Heart”, Meryl Streep kept a very low profile in 2000 with no film project and only a few narration jobs. In November, she attended the first-ever White House Conference on Culture and Diplomacy, alongside John Lithgow and Chuck Close, where the President and the First Lady, Bill and Hillary Clinton, talked about the need and importance of the arts.

February 29, 2000
Nov 29
2020

Meryl Streep’s last film of the 1990s was “Music of the Heart”, the real-life story of a music teacher in the Bronx who teaches children from poor income backgrounds to play the violin. Wes Craven, the masterful creator of “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream” struck a chord with the sentimental story – ““I’d been a teacher. I’d been divorced. I’d lived in New York and loved New York,” he told an interviewer in 2014, and Streep was a last-minute replacement for the lead after Madonna dropped out – a bittersweet irony after Madonna replaced her original spot in the film adaptation of “Evita”. Nevertheless, the casting left Meryl with only two months to learn the violin, which she practiced with New York Philharmonic violinist Sandy Park for six hours every day.

„Music of the Heart“, in the grand tradition of most of Streep’s mid-to-late 90s films, was met with positive reviews, awards buzz, and almost zero feedback from the box office. Streep scored another trio of nominations for the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award. After „Music of the Heart“, Streep “retired” from film acting for the next three years, for personal reasons.

Nov 29
2020

The year 1998 brought two very different feature films. For the screen adaptation of Brian Friel’s play “Dancing at Lughnasa”, Streep put on a heavy Irish accent and dancing shoes. The story of five spinster sisters in rural Ireland, Streep was immediately drawn to the script: “It was so elegantly written and the characters were woven beautifully,” she says. “It was so subtle – everything was under the text, everything was subtext. But there was a character missing and that was this landscape – which I didn’t really see until I saw the film for myself,” she told The Irish Times upon its release. Despite good reviews, the film was little-seen in the United States.

In “One True Thing”, she played an all-american housewife and mother who is diagnosed with cancer. Her daughter, a savvy businesswoman played by Renée Zellweger, puts her career on hold to take care of her mother. The film was based on the book by Anna Quindlen, a fellow Benard graduate, who wrote about her own experience of caring for her mother. “I didn’t have to excavate very far when I was writing „One True Thing,” she told the New York Times in 1994. “You don’t forget the way cancer smells, and sounds, and looks, and progresses.” A frailer daughter might have been derailed, but, says Quindlen, “it railed me. When I went back to school, I was a grown-up.” While the film received mixed reviews for its Lifetime movie-of-the-week feel, Meryl Streep was lauded by critics and received another round of Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award nominations as Lead Actress.

September 18, 1998
Nov 29
2020

In one of her rare appearances on television, Meryl Streep plays a tiger mother going to lenghts to find a miracle that can cure her sick child, in a deeply personal story from director Jim Abrahams, who sheds light on a family’s struggle with a child’s epilepsy and the American healthcare system. Streep told TV Guide in February 1997: “It wasn’t like I was avoiding TV all this time. Honestly, no one ever offered me any interesting parts. But when I heard about this movie, the story was so good, I didn’t have a choice”.

I was pregnant with my youngest about the same time that Nancy was pregnant with Charlie. And when he was about a year old, Charlie began to manifest symptoms of epilepsy. So I was familiar with their ordeal as they sort of negotiated this medical labyrinth to find a treatment for him that would make him better. He had a miraculous reaction [to the Ketogenic Diet]. From 90 seizures a day, he had none! This was a project that we’d talked about making as a feature. But we thought seven people would see it. And we thought the best way to get the largest possible audience would be to put it on TV. (Meryl Streep, Desert News, February 13, 1997)

“…First Do No Harm” was well received upon its television premiere in February 1997. The Los Angeles Times wrote in its review: “The most moving and most liberating scenes in the picture are those in which Lori finally refuses to allow the accountability for her child’s health to be made solely by others. Streep’s touching veracity in those scenes takes this compelling story out of the realm of advocacy and into the arena of fascinating television drama.” Meryl Streep received Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her performance, but didn’t win.

Nov 29
2020

1996 provided a rare misfire in the drama department with Barbet Schroeder’s “Before and After”, a dreadfully slow family affair of parents worrying that their teenage son might be the killer of his girlfriend. Streep, who plays the mother with literally nothing to do in the film, has been disagreeing with Schroeder’s “cool, controlled, glossy” approach to the material. She wanted the film to have a warmer feeling. What interested Schroeder, however, was the moral dilemma inherent in the story. Without knowing whether his son was innocent or guilty, the father destroys crucial evidence. He has this instinctive, actually maternal, feeling to protect him no matter what. The mother takes the time to think it through. She acts less on instinct. But by doing the right thing she could be sending her son and her husband to prison. The film released in February almost completely under the radar, grossing only $8 million of its $35 million.

The December release of another family drama, “Marvin’s Room” – an adaptation from a stage play, directed by her Yale companion Jerry Zaks – fared much better and featured outstanding performances from Streep, Diane Keaton and a pre-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio. Streep received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress, Drama – Diane Keaton was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actress category and the Screen Actors Guild honored the film with three nominations – for Keaton, Gwen Verdon’s supporting role and the film’s ensemble.

Streep also returned to the stage with readings of plays – Eve Ensler’s “Necessary Targets” at the Helen Hayes Theatre, “Honour” at the New York Stage and Film Festival and “An American Daughter” at the Seattle Repertory Theater.

December 18, 1996
Summer 1996
May 31, 1996 - June 02, 1996
February 23, 1996
Nov 29
2020

Meryl Streep’s career was revitalized in 1995 by a most unlikely leading man and director. Clint Eastwood – Western hero, movie star, director and America’s man’s man – turned Robert James Waller’s kitschy best-selling novel into a tender box office hit for grown ups. Fresh off his multiple Academy Awards wins for “Unforgiven”, Eastwood took over directing duties from Steven Spielberg after being cast in the male lead – and stood by his casting choice that was unheard of in Hollywood – casting a 45-year-old woman to play a 45-year-old woman. She received some of her career’s best reviews for the role, including ReelView’s James Berardinelli, who wrote: “After taking a break from drama with the popcorn-munching adventure thriller The River Wild, she returns to the kind of role that made her famous, and gives perhaps her best performance since Sophie’s Choice.” For the first time since 1991, Meryl Streep was nominated at the Acadmey Awards again, alongside nominations for the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award.

Nov 29
2020

Meryl Streep’s farewell to Hollywood was her first and only hooray into the action genre, a surprising move rivaling the lone-rider action movies of her male counterparts. “The River Wild”, directed by Curtis Hanson, offered a unique role for a female leaad in a very family friendly action adventure, which might have been a rapid too slow for Stallone, but just right for a lion mother. Streep plays a one-time white water rafting expert on a holiday trip with her husband and son, who get kidnapped by a pair of criminals, who have chosen the river as their escape route. Most of the film was shot on location on Montana’s Kootenai and Oregon’s Rogue rivers. As Hanson remembered in a 1994 interview with The New York Times, “I was blessed with two natural wonders on this movie: the river and Meryl Streep. It’ll be hard for me to ever replicate this experience.” The film opened to good reviews and decent box office, earning $46 million in the United States and winning Streep another Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in a Drama.

I don’t feel like an icon, unless you mean stiff and wooden sometimes. I’m so tired generally – that’s my main defining feature. (Meryl Streep, Entertainment Weekly, 1994)

In a surprise guest appearance, Meryl voiced Jessica Lovejoy on “The Simpons” episode “Bart’s Girlfriend”, in which Bart falls madly in love with the reverend’s mischieving daughter.

September 30, 1994